Much of the challenge many leaders face with employee engagement is the ability to measure it in an intelligible and tangible way. There are a number of ways this can be done through surveys and the like, but they can be time consuming and expensive…plus you’re not sure of the quality no matter what the marketing materials claims about the survey. One alternative is to develop your own employee engagement review.

Much like the performance review, it is designed to act as a communication tool that is a snapshot of a current reality – or at least a perception – for an employee. The difference is a performance review is a superior communicating to the employee their progress regarding tasks and the like. An engagement review is an employee revealing their level of engagement in specific areas based on certain drivers of engagement. Performance reviews teach the employee and engagement reviews teach the manager/leader.

The review doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be inquisitive in the right areas. It shouldn’t take a great deal of time to put together a decent engagement review, so don’t stress about it. Let’s face it, if you aren’t doing these engagement reviews any step in the that direction is an improvement.

Here are 4 key aspects to include as you design your engagement review.

  1. Significance – People want to know that what they do has some greater meaning than just accomplishing a string of tasks. Ask how they see their job connecting with the organizational strategy. Let the individual share their thoughts and then the manager share their thoughts. This conversation rarely takes place and will help improve alignment.
  2. Focus – Ask people what are their top 3 priorities. Look for discrepancies in their priorities and the organizational values. Ask more probing questions to see why they have those priorities. You may find that the example set by leadership has defined these priorities and isn’t living out the values you say your organization is supposed to carry.
  3. Role – Give employees the freedom to communicate what they like, what they don’t like, what they find challenging and what’s not working without the fear of retaliation or jeopardizing their job. It’s an opportunity to show your employees that you’re listening and their opinion matters.
  4. Development – Ask people what are their career aspirations. Don’t just make career and professional development about pandering to only what they are currently good at doing. See how those goals and desires can fit across the entire organization. What kind of training can take place? With whom can you connect this individual to begin a mentoring process? These are the things that are pure gold to employees.

*note: See how money is NOT on this list? Keep it that way.

Many people try to make employee engagement much too complicated. There are other drivers to quality engagement, but I promise if you begin with these 4 areas your employees will begin to love you for it. What are your thoughts on how an engagement review can be used in your organization?